It is hard to believe that 10 years have almost passed but New York Jets’ Kellen Winslow once represented the future of NFL tight ends. His great size offered hope that he would be a solid blocker. What was different, from a trait perspective, was his great hands. This came at the same time of players like Jeremy Shockey and Antonio Gates who also flourished in passing games.
Traditionally, players at tight end primarily help protect their quarterback. This evolution as extra pass catcher makes offenses more dynamic. Signal callers facing pressure seem to look one place. These big targets down the middle offer great security blankets. Zone coverage is susceptible to allowing big gains if there are soft areas. Players locked down on the outside benefit from such skilled individuals.
A renaissance of sorts has taken place with Winslow. After suffering multiple injuries, it appeared that Winslow’s career could have been finished. Gang Green’s season debut saw the man bring in seven receptions with one touchdown. Their last contest may have resulted in disappointment but faith should not be lost. Quarterback Geno Smith struggled during this game so production from his targets naturally suffered. As he develops, there will be better days ahead. Operating from the West Coast offense means more chance for the tight end. Winslow was once among the best at his position. He likely will look to this player for insurance when pressure arrives. As he further immerses himself in New York’s playbook and runs more routes, he will once again represent an elite threat.